- What a difference a day makes May 12
"Is it just me," said John Oliver on Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, "or between Conchita and Michael Sam, did the world — did the whole world feel like it became a better place to live in the last 24 hours?" If you are a supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, the answer is almost certainly yes. You probably already know about at least one of these four firsts (Oliver mentioned two), but together they make for a pretty great weekend for the LGBT camp:
1. The St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Sam, the first openly gay pro football player in the NFL, on Saturday. He celebrated by kissing boyfriend Vito Cammisano on camera.
2. A judge in Arkansas struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, and a Carroll County clerk performed the state's first same-sex marriages on Saturday.
3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is open to reviewing the U.S. military's ban on transgender service members.
4. And finally, bearded Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, very pointedly beating the Russian entrants and sending a not-so-veiled message to Russia regarding its anti-gay laws: "This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable." Oliver explains the geopolitical importance of Wurst's win below. --Peter Weber
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The stories behind 22 classic album covers
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
Subscribe to the Week